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NY Philharmonic conductor to bow out with global concerts

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New York (AFP)

New York Philharmonic music director Alan Gilbert will close his tenure with concerts that bring together musicians from around the world, including US political adversaries Iran, Cuba and Venezuela.

The leading US orchestra on Wednesday announced a final concert series under Gilbert from June 8-10 which will feature Mahler's enigmatic Symphony No. 7.

Members from orchestras around the world have been invited to participate. They will hail from: Australia, Britain, China, Cuba, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey and Venezuela.

Two of the countries, Iran and Iraq, are among seven Muslim-majority countries whose citizens were barred from the United States by President Donald Trump even if they had valid visas, although a court suspended his order.

"I wanted these final concerts to call attention to the ways in which music can unite people across borders and spread a message of harmony and shared humanity," Gilbert said in a statement.

The concerts will also feature Yo-Yo Ma, arguably the world's most famous cellist, and celebrated trumpet player Wynton Marsalis who is artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Philharmonic's neighbor.

Gilbert, the son of two New York Philharmonic musicians, has led the orchestra since 2009.

His successor as music director will be the Dutch conductor Jaap van Zweden, taking a position previously held by Mahler, Leonard Bernstein and Pierre Boulez.

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